Archive for September 30, 2009

Bye Week Alternatives – Week 4

by Ryan Lester of Lester’s Legends

Week 4 Byes:  Atlanta, Arizona, Carolina, Philadelphia

Quarterbacks
Matt Ryan and Kurt Warner are most difficult to replace.  McNabb is also on bye, but you’ve already had to deal with that.  Jake Delhomme won’t leave fantasy teams scrambling.

High-end Alternatives:
Jay Cutler – Possibly your starter, but if he’s not you’ll want to play him against Detroit
Carson Palmer -  Same boat, only against Cleveland

Solid Alternatives:
Mark Sanchez – Rookie will have to air it out to keep up with New Orleans.
Trent Edwards – Matchup isn’t great against Miami, but a decent option.
Brett Favre – Green Bay comes to town.  Enough said.
Shaun Hill – Hill has the luxury of facing St. Louis.
Kyle Orton – Orton will have to throw to hang with Dallas.
Joe Flacco – Flacco will have to make some plays against New England.
Jason Campbell – Tampa’s D is pretty bad.  Could have another decent one. Read more

Kerry Collins, Glen Coffee & More: Week 4 Sleepers

It was a good week of redemption for me when it comes to selecting sleepers, with two of the three picks having solid days (click here to read the column):

  • Jason Campbell – 27-41, 340 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
  • Chansi Stuckey – 2 receptions for 11 yards
  • Ricky Williams – 55 rushing yards and 1 TD; 4 receptions for 29 yards

This week sleepers become a little bit more critical, with bye weeks playing a role for the first time in the season and injuries beginning to mount.  Let’s take a look at a few gambles that may be worth taking depending on your format:

Kerry Collins – Tennessee Titans – vs. Jacksonville
Collins had actually been playing fairly well over the first two weeks of the season, throwing for 460 yards and 3 TD, while being intercepted twice.  That was before he ran into the New York Jets defense, which stymied him down the stretch to the tune of 13 consecutive incomplete passes.  He was held to 170 yards and picked off twice, but with the way that defense has been playing it really is nothing to be ashamed of.

This week he has a chance to get healthy, taking on the defense that has allowed the most passing yards per game in the early going (281.7).  Yes, they have faced three potent QBs in Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner & Matt Schaub, but they still have clearly been porous. Read more

Get ‘em or Don’t Sweat ‘em Week 3

 by Ryan Lester of Lester’s Legends

There were some unusual heroes on Sunday.  There always are.  Let’s take a look at them and see if they are worthy of your fantasy rosters.

Jason Campbell, QB, Washington Redskins - Campbell had a monster game against Detroit with 340 yards, 2 TDs, and 21 rushing yards.  Every now and again Campbell has an outburst like this and then he disappears.  Couple that with the fact that they lost to the Lions.  Heads could roll in DC leaving this situation too risky.  It’s one I’d rather avoid.
Ruling:  Don’t Sweat ‘em.

Glen Coffee, RB, San Francisco 49ers - He only managed 54 yards on 25 carries (2.2 yards per carry), but it was against the Minnesota Vikings tough run D.  Frank Gore (ankle) is going to be on the shelf for a couple of weeks.  You have to pick him up.

Bryant Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions - He had a nice game (4 catches, 73 yards TD, 11 targets) against Washington, but there is no telling when his next good game will come.  Too risky.
Ruling:  Don’t Sweat ‘em. Read more

Inside the Huddle: Week 3

Matt Forte & Steve Slaton continue to disappoint owners.  Maurice Jones-Drew was the offensive player of the week.  Terrell Owens was held without a catch.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:

Detroit 19, Washington 14

  • Jason Campbell, one of the sleeper selections for this week (click here to view), had a huge week.  He went 27-41 for 340 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT, hooking up with Santana Moss (10 catches for 178 yards and 1 TD) early and often.  It’s tough to base anything off of this one game, but this may have been the medicine Moss needed to get himself going.  With their next game coming against Tampa Bay, it’s likely that they keep things rolling another week, so now is not the time to sell high.
  • Clinton Portis could be a different story, though they aren’t really selling high.  He carried the ball 12 times for 42 yards, while adding 1 catch for 6 yards.  He was questionable heading into the game, with bone spurs in both of his ankles.  That’s not an injury that’s just going to go away, making him a risky option moving forward.
  • Matthew Stafford was solid, going 21-36 for 241 yards and 1 TD, but it was Kevin Smith who was the big start, rushing the ball 16 times for 101 yards, as well as adding 3 catches for 18 yards.  Considering he entered the game with just 103 yards on the ground, it’s a great sign. Read more

The Professor’s Picks: Week 3

It was a slightly worse week in Week 2, going 13-3, but also losing my best bet.  For the season I’m at 27-4, so it’s been a good run thus far.  Who am I picking this week?  Let’s take a look:

  • Washington over Detroit – Do I even need to give a reason on this one?
  • Green Bay over St. Louis – After losing last week, Green Bay is going to step onto the field with something to prove in this one.
  • Minnesota over San Francisco – the 49ers are 2-0, but I don’t think they can overcome Adrian Peterson and company.
  • Atlanta over New England – Really?  No one would ever really expect the Patriots to lose two straight, but Matt Ryan and company are looking to make a statement that they are for real.
  • Tennessee over New York Jets – The Titans were unlucky last week and the Jets could be in store for a slight letdown.
  • Philadelphia over Kansas City
  • New York Giants over Tampa Bay Read more

Fourth & 1 Debate: Breakout Wide Receivers

This week’s Fourth & 1 Debate was hosted by Junkyard Jake of www.junkyardjake.com, who asked:

Every year a handful of receivers emerge from obscurity to become fantasy relevant. This year a few relatively overlooked receivers, such as Earl Bennett, Mario Manningham and Andre Caldwell showed signs that they could be factors in 2009. Who are your 2 or 3 favorite surprise receivers for this season?

My response was:

The St. Louis Rams’ Laurent Robinson certainly has to be among the top two or three ‘surprise receivers’ who have emerged in the early going this season. The third year receiver had just 42 receptions over his first two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, yet already has 11 catches. He’s been the prime target for Marc Bulger in the early going and given the state of their receiving corps should continue to be so all year long.

Another breakout receiver is rookie Johnny Knox, who showed last week that he is not just the burner that people expected him to be. He was targeted by Jay Cutler nine times this past week and if that trend can continue, he could emerge as this seasons’ version of Eddie Royal, aka a rookie breakout thanks to Cutler.

This week’s participants were myself, Jake of www.junkyardjake.com, Jacob of FantasyFootballFools.Com, Paul Greco of FantasyPros911.Com, Smitty of FantasyFootballXtreme.Com, Ryan Lester of LestersLegends.com, Bryce McRae of KFFL.Com and Lee of FootballJabber.Com

To read all of the responses, click here.

Target Practice: Berrian, Winslow & More

Week two’s games brought some interesting storylines over who was targeted and who wasn’t.  Bernard Berrian, thought by many to be a great sleeper option, only had six passes thrown his way, half as many as Joey Galloway.  Johnny Knox, Laurent Robinson and other young receivers were given ample opportunity and took advantage of them.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest.

Kellen Winslow was targeted 10 times
Last week it was nine times, so it should be clear now that he is going to play a major role in the Buccaneers passing game.  This could finally be his opportunity to make a splash, as he had 7 catches for 90 yards and 1 TD in week two.  We’ve all heard about his tremendous potential, now seems to be the time we are finally seeing it.

Laurent Robinson was targeted 9 times
That led the Rams as he continues his impressive start to 2009.  The third-year receiver seems to have claimed the number one role in a weak St. Louis offense, which could mean a big season.  I’ve been in favor of scooping him off the waiver wire since week one, but if he’s still dangling out there I certainly wouldn’t hesitate now. Read more

Fantasy Football Pitfalls – Week 3

by Ryan Lester of Lester’s Legends

I’m going to look at the matchups each week and pick five fantasy starters that could be in for a tough week.  Here’s a look at players who could struggle this week.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers - You have to play him because he’s taking on St. Louis, but there is a good chance that this game gets out of hand early and the Pack let Ryan Grant handle the heavy lifting.

Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans – Johnson has a tough matchup this week playing the Jets on the road.  You can’t bench your first-round pick in Week 3, especially after his monster performance against the Texans, but expect something closer to his Week 1 numbers.

Kevin Smith, RB, Detroit Lions - It seems like I’m picking on the second-year backs in the early going.  I’ll pile on with Kevin Smith.  I don’t like his matchup against Washington.  If he’s not active in the passing game, it will be a long day for his fantasy owners.

Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City Chiefs - Bowe faces the Eagles this week.  That ought to be a lot of fun, especially after they got crushed by the Saints.  You almost have to play him, but don’t pencil him in for too many points. Read more

Fixing an Autodraft: Week 3

Surprisingly, I actually pulled out a victory in this league in Week 2, thanks to strong performances from Willis McGahee, Owen Daniels & Laurent Robinson.  My opponent was hurt by sub par performances from Tom Brady, Santana Moss & Maurice Jones-Drew, so I feel a bit lucky.  In a normal week, I don’t know that I would’ve stood a chance, but such is life for fantasy football owners.

With Clinton Portis struggling a bit and still being optimistic on LaDanian Tomlinson, I’m actually getting a little bit more hopeful that this team isn’t going to be a complete bust.  I know, it’s only two weeks and a lot can change, but after barely missing in the first week and getting a win this week, there’s reason to think I can compete.

That, of course, hasn’t been stopping me from hitting the waiver wire early and often.  That’s what has helped me stay competitive, so why slow down?  The moves I’ve made since our last update:

  • Dropped Sidney Rice, picked up Chansi Stuckey
  • Dropped Chansi Stuckey, picked up Anthony Gonzalez
  • Dropped Jamal Charles, picked up Ricky Williams Read more

Ricky Williams, Jason Campbell & More: Week 3 Sleepers

It was not a very good week for my sleeper picks for Week 2 (click here for the original article)

JaMarcus Russell – 7-24, 109 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT
LeSean McCoy – 5 carries for 18 yards; 4 receptions for 37 yards
Antwaan Randle-El – 4 receptions for 39 yards
Vernon Davis – 2 receptions for 32 yards

Wow, none of those players did much to help fantasy owners.  Keep in mind that these weekly picks are always going to be extremely risky, that’s why they are considered sleepers.  They are more along the lines of those who have the potential to breakout and can be used in case of an emergency.

So, with that said, let’s take a look at some deep sleepers for the upcoming fantasy week:

Jason Campbell – Washington Redskins – @ Detroit
He really hasn’t been that bad, throwing for 453 yards, but only 1 TD and 1 INT.  His season did kick off against the New York Giants, where he faced constant pressure from one of the elite defenses in the game.  Last week he had the Rams, a team far less imposing.  Though they failed to find the end zone, he did throw for 242 yards. Read more